Dodgers Cut up by Atlanta Chipper

The Dodgers flew to Atlanta a day before the series started having trashed the Pittsburgh pitching staff in consecutive games and hit .327 during the most recent home stand. All in all that didn't impress Chipper Jones who slugged a pair of long home runs, his fourth in two days, and a single, his seventh hit in two days.

Jones batted in four Atlanta runs in the 6-1 win, boosted his average to .455 and has six home runs and 18 runs batted in.

The tone of the game was set in the first inning when the Dodgers loaded the bases but didn't score.

From that point on it was all Atlanta.

Starter Derek Lowe has been locked in during his first three starts this season. Lowe has fanned 16 batters and walked just one, giving him the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the Major Leagues

But Lowe walked four in this game, plus getting hit twice by batted balls. He left in the fifth having allowed five runs, three of them earned and eight hits. Oh, by the way, he had the first hit for the Dodgers until the fourth inning.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal and center fielder Andruw Jones crashed into each other chasing a pop fly single in center. Furcal was down for a time, having given up about 50 pounds in the affair, but finished the rest of the game.

The Braves gave the Dodgers every chance to score in the first inning when Furcal walked, Matt Kemp was safe on a botched double play ball and Jeff Kent was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.

But the Braves wriggled off the hook when Loney fanned on a checked swing and Russ Martin flew to the track in left.

Loney would go 0-for-4 in the game, breaking his 15-game hitting streak.

After a gentle, 1-2-3 first inning, the last of the evening for the Braves, Lowe had pretty much everything go wrong in the second.

It started with a ground ball that ate Jeff Kent up at second, the ball glancing off his glove for an error. A long double into left center put Braves on second and third.

Then a softly bouncing ground ball to Nomar Garciaparra went for a hit when he either thought it would hit the third base bag or go foul -- it did neither and Nomar ended up eating the ball as a run scored.

A double play seemed to get Lowe out of the inning but then a ground ball that Lowe deflected and could not make a play on scored a second run. The pitcher walked but the inning ended on a strange 4-1 out at first.

L.A. got a double from Furcal -- their second hit of the game -- and a walk to Kemp in the fifth with two out but Ethier fanned.

Lowe's nightmare continued in the fifth inning. He allowed three walks, a single and a three-run homer by Chipper Jones -- and was fortunate not to allow more than three.

Andruw Jones walked, took second on a balk and scored when pinch-hitter Juan Pierre singled him home to put L.A. on the board.

Chan Ho Park surrendered another long homer to Jones in the seventh, his second run allowed this season in five appearances. He also escaped from a bases loaded mess to end the seventh.

Jones appeared again in the eighth inning but Park held him to a single this time.

The Dodgers' Jones smacked his third double of the season off the left field wall in the ninth but he was left there. It was the fifth, and last, Dodger hit of the evening.

Pitching matchups for the rest of the series: Saturday (today) RHP Chad Billingsley (0-2, 5.59) vs Chuck James (first start). Sunday Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 2.89) vs. RHP Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 3.93)
  Score by Innings
Los Angeles	000 000 100-1
Atlanta	        020 030 10x-6

  Los Angles	ab r  h  bi ave
Furcal ss	3  0  1  0  .403
Kemp rf	        3  0  0  0  .289
Ethier lf	4  0  0  0  .286
Kent 2b	        3  0  1  0  .283
Loney 1b	4  0  0  0  .339
Martin c	3  0  0  0  .196
Jones cf	3  1  1  0  .167
Garciaparra 3b	4  0  0  0  .167
Lowe p	        2  0  1  0  .300
 Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Proctor p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Pierre ph	1  0  1  1  .303
 Park p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Sweeney ph	1  0  0  0  .083
  Totals	31 1  5 1
  Atlanta	34 6 11 6

 Error- Kent (1), Martin (2). Two-
base hits- Furcal (8). Jones (3).
RBI- Pierre (6). SB- Pierre (3).
CS- Martin (1). LOB- Los Angeles
8, Atlanta 10> DP- Kent, Furcal
and Loney 2.

 Los Angeles 	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Lowe (1-1)	4.1  8  5-3  4  2  2.59  
Kuo	        0.2  0  0-0  0  1  0.79
Proctor	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  5.68
Park	        2.0  3  1-1  1  0	 2.25
 HBP- Kent. T- 3:03. Att- 38,250.
Historic Date
On this date in 1958, April 18, the Dodgers took the field in front of a Los Angeles Coliseum crowd of 78,672, and played their first game in Los Angeles. The Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants for the first time that day behind Carl Erskine and won their first home game 6-5.

To commemorate the historical occasion, the Dodgers have invited a select group of fans to watch the game and celebrate the Dodgers' 50 years in L.A.

Those fans will also be able to take their photo with the Dodgers' 1981 and 1988 World Series trophies, which will be on display.

Former Dodgers Bobby Castillo, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, Kenny Landreaux, Rudy Law, Al Downing, and Ralph Mauriello will all be on hand to celebrate with the fans.

Hot-Hand Raffy
Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal on fire to start the season, hitting .403 and is also in the top-5 in run scored (15), hits (25), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.500), slugging percentage (.695), extra-base hits (12), and total bases (43). The scorching start is unusual for Furcal, who has started slowly the last four years. His five-year record, according to the Dodgers' Publicity Department:
Year        average  XBHits 
2004  Atlanta  .245   4 
2005  Atlanta  .228   5 
2006  Dodgers  .198   2 
2007  Dodgers  .203   3 
2008  Dodgers  .403  12 
Dodger Blue Notes-- The No. 42 jersey that James Loney wore on Jackie Robinson night will be displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Loney extended his hitting streak to 14 games while honoring Robinson. ...Former Braves Rafael Furcal and Andruw Jones received warm welcomes from the Braves fans. The Dodger run in the seventh inning was the first allowed by Atlanta pitching in 16 innings. ...Andruw Jones, who doubled in three trips to the plate, has hit .182 since last August 3 with two home runs. He has fanned 18 times in the first 16 Dodger games this season.